Crossing the Border? Insurance Tips for Driving in the USA


Each year, tons of Canadians drive across the border into the U.S. for business or recreational purposes. The question almost all of them have is if their car insurance covers them if they get into an accident in the U.S. For the most part, nearly all Canadian insurance companies will cover you if you have an accident in the U.S. However, you’ll want to understand and adjust a few things with your policy if you are planning a trip south of the border. Check them out here.

Your Liability Limit Should Be Higher

You have third-party liability coverage for a reason. If you get into a collision through your fault or someone else’s, the coverage helps you cover the damages or medical expenses that someone else incurs as a result. Having a higher liability limit will help you cover those expenses in event of an accident outside of Canada.

Family Protection Endorsement

A family protection endorsement simply means you’ll get more coverage if you’re traveling with other members of your family. This can be particularly important when traveling in the U.S. as American drivers don’t need to have as high of liability insurance as Canadians do. What this means is that if you and your family get into an accident with an American driver and the American is at fault, his insurance might not be able to cover every member of your family.

Don’t Go to Mexico

We don’t mean don’t go to Mexico ever. Just don’t go with your car. Canadian insurance providers will not cover your vehicle in Mexico. What you can do is fly to Mexico and rent a vehicle there with all the necessary coverages. .

Moving Permanently?

If you’re moving to the U.S. permanently, you will likely need to end your Canadian policy and get a U.S. policy. This is because Canadian insurance providers will only cover Canadians residing in Canada. Even if you spend half your year in the U.S. and half in Canada, you might have different coverage requirements and should check your policy before leaving  Canada.

Get Friendly with Your Broker

Your broker should be one of the top ten people you call whenever anything in your life changes, especially when it comes to your car. Whether you’re going to the U.S. for a few short weeks or several months, your broker is the best person to tell you where you have gaps in your insurance and what you can do to fill them.

Kristopher P. graduated with a Bachelor’s in finance at the University of Calgary.  He has over 10 years of experience in the insurance industry as an agent/broker.  He enjoys spending his free time with his family by going to hockey games and camping.  If you’d like to contact him, you can do so at his LinkedIn.